The power of stories to create change in health and social care. Where do the stories come from?

The power of stories to create change is well documented. Stories help us to laugh, cry, hope, love and empathise with others. The health and social care sector is no different.  If we want to create positive change and make care more joined up then harnessing the power of people’s stories is a big part of this. Stories can inspire change as they are shared at home, at work and over social and mobile networks.

At Participate we’ve developed a campaigning approach to integrating care that follows a story itself.  This story begins with with the embryonic stage of joined up services, followed by early development, then rapid growth and finally maturity; where integrated care finds its true place in the world, its own voice and power of authority.  This campaigning approach is driven by shared stories.

So how do we capture these stories?

  • We ask people? We get people to tell us about their experience of health and social care
  • We ask staff? We ask staff to tell us about their experience of health and social care
  • We form groups. We get people together to talk about their health and social care and capture their stories
  • We hold bakeoffs, tea parties and coffee mornings. These informal settings are a great way to get people to talk about their health and how they use health and social care services.  Do not underestimate the power of tea, biscuits and cake.
  • We create an identity that champions the sharing of stories and the value that they bring.  An identity that encourages openness and that encourages the status quo to be challenged
  • We mobilise people in their towns, villages and neighourhoods and encourage them to form their own groups for sharing experiences
  • We use Facebook, Twitter, G+, blogs and all the social media paraphernalia at our finger tips to harvest and share stories
  • We create an online engagement HQ where stories incubate and thrive on comments and being shared
  • We pound the streets and talk to people and encourage them to tell us about their experiences

We do this because we want their stories.  We want to harness the power of stories and the sharing of stories so that they can be used to create change around common values and shared visions for health and social care.

Tell us how you capture stories for social change.  We want to know your stories about what works. 


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